The Ugly Truth
Silver City is owned by a prominent Dallas family. Despite the number of disturbing events that have taken place there, the strip club has remained largely out of the news—until now...
|GETTING TO THE POINT: Corey Robinson worked at Silver City when he was attacked by another employee outside the VIP room on September 15, 2005
Silver City Cabaret is the worst strip joint in Dallas. It’s probably best-known as the last stop of the night for former Cowboy Dwayne Goodrich, before his BMW hit and killed two good Samaritans trying to save a motorist from a burning car. But maybe it’s best to start obliquely, away from the stark details that have earned the club its ugly reputation, generator of a thick file of police reports chronicling a violent, six-year tale of rapes, ripoffs, assaults, shootings, and murder. Maybe it’s best to start with Dr. Michail Mantas.
Mantas—in some filings, “Michael”—lives with his wife Mary in Preston Hollow, on Deloache Avenue, in a home valued at $3.6 million. A graduate of the medical school at Texas Tech, Mantas is a charitable man, known for his generosity to Crystal Charity, amfAR, and TACA. He also gives a great deal of money to the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church.
But there is a darker side. In 1989, the Texas Medical Board reprimanded Mantas for writing prescriptions for “abnormally and excessively large amounts of barbiturates” for a patient while failing “to order medication to treat the patient’s admission diagnosis of depression.” Mantas, who has a thriving medical practice, was unable to write prescriptions for three years. In April 2004, Irving police arrested Mantas for sexually assaulting a woman. A Dallas County grand jury indicted him. But in December 2004, the woman dropped her charges. This summer, Allstate Insurance Company filed suit against Mantas’ practice, saying he billed Allstate with fraudulent claims dating back to at least 2001. (D Magazine
first wrote about the case in September 2006.) Allstate is suing for $1.8 million. John Scott, Mantas’ lawyer, says, “Dr. Mantas strongly denies all the allegations.”
Scott also says Mantas is not tied in any way to Silver City. On paper, he isn’t. But his family is. The strip club is owned by Green Star Incorporated, whose registered agent and president is Thanasi Mantas, Michail’s 25-year-old son. According to numerous sources, Thanasi has owned Silver City since it opened in November 2000, six months after he graduated from St. Mark’s. (Thanasi referred all questions to his lawyer, who did not answer questions. Michail, through his lawyer, did not respond to D’s interview requests.) As recently as 2002, Thanasi lived with his parents on Deloache. Today, however, he owns a place in University Park, on McFarlin Boulevard, valued at $580,000. Presumably, he can afford it. According to Texas Alcohol and Beverage Commission records, Silver City sells more liquor than almost every other strip club in Texas. It’s August 2006 receipts put it at No. 8 in the state.
Ceno Limited, the company that owns the land on which Silver City sits, on 7501 N. Stemmons Fwy., lists as its registered agent Alexi Mantas, Michail’s 26-year-old son. Its registered office is the family’s home on Deloache. Alexi, also a St. Mark’s graduate and a fourth-year medical student at UT Southwestern, owns a condo on Routh Street. According to Corey Robinson, who worked at Silver City for six years, Alexi has wanted nothing to do with the club from the start. (Alexi could not be reached for comment.)
Robinson, who was the first employee at Silver City and describes his relationship with the Mantas family as “excellent,” also says Michail was “involved in the day-to-day operations. He made most of the decisions.” Robinson says he left the club in June 2005 because it was “micromanaged” by Michail and “mismanaged” by Thanasi.
The biggest problem was that Silver City kept bringing back employees it had fired—most notably, Thomas Charalambopoulos, aka Tommy C. An imposing man, 6 feet tall and 250 pounds, Tommy C is a friend of the Mantases. They call him “cousin,” Robinson says. He was fired in 2003 after he allegedly raped a dancer but was rehired in September 2005—only to gut Robinson days later.
|IN DA CLUB: The Mantas family operates Silver City in a building off Stemmons Freeway
Despite the club’s sordid reputation, most of what goes on there has never made the news. To know the extent of its activity, you have to see the police reports. Dave Neumann, chairman of the Stemmons Corridor Business Association, says they “are appalling” and has petitioned the city to take away Silver City’s sexually oriented business license. So far, to no avail. We thought it might be useful for more people to see what Neumann has seen. Since Silver City opened six years ago, Dallas police have filed well over 100 incident reports. Here are excerpts from some of the most heinous, in ascending order of brutality.
WARNING: these reports contain graphic descriptions of violent sexual assaults.
Incident: Aggravated Assault
COMP [Complainant]: Srinvasan, L.
SUSP [Suspect]: W/M · WEIGHT: 180 · HEIGHT: 5’6”
Narrative: At approximately 2:40 am, RO [Responding Officer] responded to a call for the police at the Silver City bar, regarding an injured person. RO met comp who stated that he had paid over $2,000 bar tab and had walked out the front door of the location. Comp stated that one of the valet people told him that his friend was waiting on the south side of the building. The location was outside the vision of anyone entering or exiting the tavern or the valet people. Comp stated that above listed suspect met him and said, “You stole some money from my girls. I want you to pay them back.” Comp stated that before he could say a word, the susp took what looked like a blue steel revolver, and the suspect began striking comp on the head and the left side of his face with the pistol. After knocking comp to the ground the susp left in an unknown direction according to comp. Comp walked back inside the location and called 911. RO interviewed several people at the location and no one admitted to seeing anything. ... Comp felt that the valet attendant was involved in the incident.
Incident: AGG [Aggravated] assault; SUSP assaulted COMP by hitting with hands and burning COMP
COMP: Grizzaffi, Victor
SUSP: Lankford, Mark
Narrative: Comp stated he was working in the kitchen, when the Susp asked him to leave. The comp departed and returned to the kitchen area. The comp and the susp became engaged in a verbal dispute. The comp stated he placed out his hands to shake the susp hands when the susp grabbed him and shoved him over the metal tables in the kitchen. The comp was then held down and struck open handed about the face area. The susp then placed the comp’s hand against a hot stove burning it. ... The comp refused any medical attention, saying he would seek it out on his own.
Supplemental Narrative: 2/22/2001. The witness Porfirio was contacted. The witness said that he and the comp are cooks for the business. The witness said the comp was arguing with everyone and complaining about the job. ... The comp and chef, the suspect, became involved in an argument. The suspect told the comp to go home several times. The comp agreed to leave but came back into the kitchen several times to argue with the suspect. The witness said the suspect told the comp that he was fired on the third time that he came into the kitchen. The witness said the comp lunged toward the suspect to hit him. The witness said the suspect began pushing the comp into the work station tables. The witness and other employees broke up the disturbance. The manager of the business gave the comp a criminal trespass warning.
Incident: Sexual Assault
COMP: [BLACKED OUT]
SUSP: W/M/30 · WEIGHT: 214 · HEIGHT: 6’3” · HAIR COLOR: Brown
Narrative: Comp stated she was working at listed loc [Location] when susp entered for a birthday party. Comp stated susp began by attempting to put his hand up her skirt. comp stated she felt uncomfortable and would pull away. Comp stated the area susp was sitting in was her area to work so she had to return to susp’s table which was located in a private room. Comp stated the last time she returned to the room susp grabbed hold of her and put his hand up into her shorts and placed his fingers into her vagina. Comp stated she told susp to stop. Comp stated she was threatened by susp that if she said anything he would tell members of management and have her fired. Comp stated she attempted to run from the room but susp pulled her back. Comp stated susp pushed aside the table and that is when she observed he was not wearing any pants. Comp stated susp forced comp on top of him pushing aside her shorts and placing his penis into her vagina. Comp stated she continued to struggle to get away from susp. Comp stated she did not know if susp ejaculated or was wearing a condom. Comp was transported to hospital for medical treatment.
Supplemental Narrative: Comp on 5/12/05 originally stated that she did not wish to pursue, but later called back and scheduled appointment for 5/16/05 at 10:30 am. Failed to show or call. 5/19/05 left voice mail for comp. No further contact.
Incident: Sexual Assault
COMP: [BLACKED OUT]
SUSP: Mendoza, Rhory
Narrative: Comp stated she went to the location attempting to get a job. Comp stated the listed susp took her to a private room and wanted to help her learn to dance as a stripper. Comp stated she had a t-back on and as she danced the comp would grab it and slide it over. Comp would then move it back. Susp stated he wanted the Comp to rub him with her crotch area. Comp was unsure if this was okay but she went ahead and began to perform this and stated she mostly rubbed her crotch against his legs but the susp would grab her and pull her back against his penis area. Susp then pulled his penis out and put on a condom. Comp stated she would not dance anymore unless he put his penis back inside his pants. This occurred several times. Comp later moved onto the couch and stated the suSp got on his knees and then penetrated her vagina with his penis. Comp told him no and then the susp again penetrated her vagina with his penis. At this time the comp got up and left the VIP area which the susp had taken her to.
Supplemental Narrative: The comp has not made any attempt to contact [officer] for follow-up investigation. The address listed for her does not exist.
Incident: Sexual Assault
COMP: [BLACKED OUT]
SUSP: Charalambopoulos, Thomas
Narrative: Please route a copy of report to vice*********. Comp advised reporting officers that on 3/1/03 between the hours of 16:30 and 17:00, the known SUSP intentionally and forcefully penetrated her vagina with his penis without her consent. Comp informed reporting officers that she was informing the SUSP that she was quitting her job at offense location. At that time the SUSP asked COMP not to quit. SUSP then began trying to persuade the Comp not to quit by showing her the new VIP area and rooms at location. Once in the back the SUSP grabbed the Comp by her arm and forced her to the ground, with her face downward. SUSP then moved her g-string to the side and penetrated her anus with his penis as he held her head down. Comp attempted to scream but SUSP placed his hand over her mouth as the assault occurred. After a few moments SUSP stood Comp up and bent her over a chair, with her face downward, and penetrated her vagina, without Comp consent. After a few minutes, Comp advised reporting officers that the SUSP forced her to perform oral sex as she sat in the chair; at that point the SUSP ejaculated into her mouth. SUSP left area after assault occurred. Comp notified police while she was still at offense location. ... Comp informed reporting officers that she and the SUSP have never had a relationship, but stated that the SUSP receives oral sex from other employees, in fear of losing their jobs at location.
|BUSTED: Tommy C, a family friend of the Mantases, allegedly gutted Corey Robinson.
Supplemental Narrative: I spoke with the Comp and arranged an appointment to prosecute the investigation. She said that she would call me back after consulting her attorney. She never called back.
Incident: Murder; UNK [Unknown] Susp Assaulted Comp, Comp died as a result of his injuries
COMP: Brown, George
Narrative: Dallas Police Patrol Officer Arispe responded to the call at 7501 N. Stemmons. Comp was found bleeding from multiple wounds. Comp was transported to PMH [Parkland] where he was pronounced dead from his injuries.
Supplemental Narrative: Weapon type: pocket knife. On March 26, 2006, SUSP Gonzales, Steve was arrested on the warrant for murder in this offense. Gonzales admitted to committing this offense of murder.
Incident: AGG Assault
COMP: Robinson, Corey
SUSP: Charalambopoulos, Thomas
Narrative: Thursday, September 15, 2005, at about 2:48 am Comp Corey Robinson and SUSP Thomas (Tommy) Charalambopoulos both walked into the private VIP room inside the Silver City Topless Club at 7501 N. Stemmons Fwy. in the city of Dallas, Dallas County, Texas. While inside the VIP room, SUSP Charalambopoulos cut the Comp from his left shoulder to his abdomen with an unknown sharp object believed to be a knife. The SUSP also cut the Comp on the left wrist severing four tendons and several nerves. Wit Whalen overheard the SUSP say, “I gotta take care of something” before she observed the comp and susp walk into the VIP room together. The club was closed and there were no customers in the VIP room. ... Wit Whalen observed the susp immediately exit the club through a fire door after he left the VIP room. ... Witness Proctor became aware that there was a disturbance in the VIP room and tried to open the door but the comp’s body was blocking it. When witness Proctor finally got the door open, he observed the comp on the floor bleeding heavily. The comp told witness Proctor “Tommy did it” before he was loaded in the ambulance. Witness Mantas who is the manager of the club received a phone call from the susp in which the susp told witness Mantas that he had stabbed the COMP. ... Witness Mantas did observe the susp opening boxes earlier in the day with a black handled pocket knife. ... The cut to the comp’s chest and abdomen was massive and allowed the comp’s intestines to spill out his abdomen onto the floor. The comp’s intestines were also lacerated. Det [Detective] has not been able to establish why the comp was assaulted and self defense does not appear to be a motive. ... The comp stated to Det Weissenborn that the SUSP has “pulled” a knife on him at least three previous occasions.
Robinson currently works in a bar. Charalambopoulos disappeared for a month after the incident but was eventually arrested on October 18. His trial is scheduled to begin in February.